Breaking a generally declining trend, the number of electricity-related complaints filed with Texas regulators jumped by nearly one-third during the last fiscal year and they now stand at a new three-year high, according to a new report from the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power.
All told, Texans filed 5,371 electricity-related complaints or inquiries with the Texas Public Utility Commission during the 2018 fiscal year. That marks a 28.6 percent increase from the 4,175 filed during the same September-through-August time period in 2017.
These findings and more are included in TCAP’s new 2018 Snapshot Report on Electricity Complaints, released today on the organization’s website. The Snapshot report includes more than two decades of electricity complaint data — some of which is unavailable anywhere else. The report can be found here.
In percentage terms, the increase logged in FY 2018 marks the greatest since the 2006 fiscal year, when the PUC logged a 36.5 percent increase in complaints and inquiries. The PUC also recorded increases in eight discrete electric complaint categories in FY 2018 — a reversal from the previous fiscal year when it recorded decreases in eight discrete categories.
“This stark uptick in complaints is disappointing — especially after several years of generally improving numbers,” said Jay Doegey, executive director of TCAP. “In percentage terms, the year-to-year rise in complaints is the greatest in a decade. Clearly, many Texans remain frustrated with aspects of their electric service.”
Texans can find complaint data for individual companies at the state’s electricity shopping web site, powertochoose.org. TCAP recommends that consumers always check the industry complaint scorecard there when shopping for electricity.
Electricity customers wishing to file complaints can do so through the PUC’s Office of Customer Protection, which can be reached at 1-888-782-8477, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at http://www.puc.texas.gov/consumer/complaint/Complaint.aspx. When appropriate, the PUC will investigate such complaints, and may sanction companies if a rule violation is found.
TCAP is a coalition of more than 160 cities and other political subdivisions that have joined together to purchase electricity in the state’s deregulated market for their own governmental use. As part its mission, TCAP advocates for affordable power for its member cities and their citizens. Find out more here.
Is a policy analyst for TCAP, a coalition of cities and other political subdivisions that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because high energy costs can impact municipal budgets and the ability to fund essential services, TCAP, as part of its mission, actively promotes affordable energy policies. High energy prices also place a burden on local businesses and home consumers.